Last modified: 2022-03-05 by ian macdonald
Keywords: parana | castro |
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The municipality of Castro (67,082 inhabitants in 2010; 253,100 ha) is
located 170 km north-west of Curitiba.
Castro was originally colonized on 19 March 1704 by Pedro Taques de Almeida, who built a small chapel near River Iapó, close to a ford used by tropeiros conveying cattle between Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo. The increase in the number of users of the ford caused the emergence of a small hamlet. The early colonization of the region is recalled by the Tropeiro Museum, inaugurated in 1977 in the oldest building of the town and the single museum of that kind in Brazil.
The parish of Sant'Ana do Iapó was established on 5 March 1774 and renamed Vila Nova de Castro on 20 January 1789 for Martinho de Melo e Castro (1716-1795), Minister of the Navy (1770-1795) and Prime Minister (1785-1786) of the Kingdom of Portugal, and covering at the time most of present-day's state of Paraná. On 21 January 1857, Castro was the first parish elevated a town after the separation of Paraná from São Paulo, therefore its nickname of "Mother town of Paraná". During the Federalist Revolution, Castro was the short-lived capital of Paraná, from 18 January to 29 April.
Several colonies were established by immigrants, starting in the late 19th century: Santa Clara (German), Santa Leopoldina (Polish), Terra Nova (German), Maracanã (German) and Castrolanda (Dutch). The Dutch colonization memorial "De immigrant" includes the highest windmill in South America (37 m), built in 2001 by Dutch engineer Jan Heijdra to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Dutch colonization.
Brazil's first kindergarten was established in Castro in 1862 by Emília Erichsen (1817-1907). Based on the Froebel method, the establishment was visited in 1880 by Emperor Pedro II.
The flag of Castro is prescribed by Decree No. 57,179 promulgated on 29 August 1979.
The flag of the municipality of Castro is composed of a quadrilateral divided into three vertical stripes, from left to right, green, white and blue, charged in the center, on the white stripe, with the coat of arms of the municipality prescribed by Municipal Law No. 2 promulgated on 5 April 1949.
The design of the flag shall obey the following rules.
I. Width, 14 units.
II. Length, 20 units.
The coat of arms of Castro is prescribed by Municipal Law No. 2 promulgated on 5 April 1949.
In the center, a Portuguese shield divided in the middle by an horizontal line forming two distinct fields.
In the lower part, in green, the rich wild pastures, a horse, an oxen, and a Brazilian pine, the sources of primitive income. River Iapó and, in the background, mountains, signs of the primitive times of big cattle ranches and of the time of the parish of Santana do Iapó (5 March 1774).
In the upper part, the pillory, the symbol of royal justice and predicament of Vila Nova de Castro (21 January 1789).
Ivan Sache, 1 February 2022